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Ben Thanh Market

Visit Ho Chi Minh City, tourist cannot miss one of the famous landmarks is Ben Thanh market. Located at the centre of Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh market reflects totally the bustling life of trading and busy people here. In addition, visitors have chances to buy souvenirs and try various delicious Vietnamese foods.

Located in the center of Ho Chi Minh city, Ben Thanh Market is a famous destination for many local and foreign tourists from over the world. It is known as a symbol of  Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City, and also a typical historical witness of this young and dynamic city. In recent years, tourists visit Ben Thanh Market not only to buy goods or souvenirs, but also to explore the cultural identity of Vietnam.

 Ben Thanh market from outside

Ben Thanh market

The old market was established from the beginning of 17th century. The original place was used as a meeting place of business people for gathering and meeting with others to sell goods. In 1870, the French colonial government officially named this area as Les Halles Centrales (it means Central Market). After that in 1912, the market was moved to a new building with a new name Ben Thanh Market.

Ben Thanh Market has a total area of 13,056 m², with an average of 10,000 visitors per day coming here to go shopping and visit. The market has 1,446 stalls, 6,000 small businesses, 5 businesses, with four main doors and 12 doors in four directions.

 Inside Ben Thanh Market

Inside the market

However, the market is not only a tourist destination. There is a variety of Vietnamese products in these stalls or vendors. Visitors can find everything here such as tiny special gifts or delicate traditional costumes. In addition, there are stalls selling all kinds of consumer goods for tourists, especially souvenirs, hand-made clothes, silk, craft fabrics, fine art, paintings, and so on. That’s the reason why everyday, a large number of Ho Chi Minh City residents also come there for shopping, making Ben Thanh become more crowded and bustling at day.

Negotiating will be an interesting experience if you have a chance to go shopping in Ben Thanh Market. Be ready to negotiate the price when deciding to buy something. As it’s a small special unique in Vietnam that you should try.

Ben Thanh Market is also very lively at night, from 7 pm, visitor can see many stalls locating on two sides of two big streets: Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chu Trinh with variety kinds of souvenirs and food. Ben Thanh Market is also one of the ideal places to enjoy traditional Vietnamese dishes. Visiting Ben Thanh market, it is impossible to skip the food courts that serve various specialty dishes of Vietnam. In January 2012, Ben Thanh Market was chosen as one of 10 destinations having the most attractive street food on the planet by Food and Wine Magazine.

Souvenirs in Ben Thanh market

Products in Ben Thanh market

Ben Thanh Market locates in District 1 - the center of Ho Chi Minh City. Tourists can easily recognize the market from far with a iconic sign - the clock tower. The market area is always bustling and crowded with people and motorbikes, so be careful when crossing the road. At night, the central of market is closed, but visitors can visit Ben Thanh Night Market instead with many vendors opening from the evening until late at night. The market is open all year round.

Tips visiting Ben Thanh Market:

  • Do not forget to buy some small gifts for your family/friends.
  • Remember to bargain for the best possible price and only haggle if you are keen on buying.
  • Go to about two or three stall to compare prices of similar good to buy with the most reasonable price. Normally the prices of fruit and nosh are not too expensive.

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